Shimla (Mar 12): Himachal Pradesh is currently facing serious threat to its bio-diversity from exotic weeds as 32,1074 hectare area of its forest and arable land is infested by Lantana Camara (common name Falnu or Panch Phuli or Foollakri), Partheniusm hysterophorus (Gajar Ghasm or Congress Grass or Chatak Chandani), Ageratum Conyzoides (Neela Phulnu) and Chromolaena Odorata (Eupatrium).
The matter was raised in the state Assembly by Anil Kumar (Mandi-Cong), and Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal while replying to the query said that that so far 2203 hactare area has been reclaimed after spending Rs 3.63 crore on it. He said that Lantana is posing a major threat to natural regeneration of native plants species as 1,36301 ha area is already infested by it, including 1,30,000 ha forest land, followed by Ageratum in 1,59,579 ha, mostly in agriculture land, and Parthenium occupying horticulture land measuring about 25,194 ha in the state.
“The state government is trying to check its further infestation beside reclaiming area under it, after launching ‘Re-afforestation of Scrub area” and Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Wildlife in the state, Dhumal said adding that funds being mobilized from TFC, CAT Plan, NPV and MNREGA,” he said. The Chief Minister claimed that the government is increasing the reclaimed area every year as 152 ha area has been reclaimed in 2007-8, spending Rs 12.91 Lakh, 245 ha in 2008-09 and 462 ha in 2009-10 and 1344 ha 2010-11, respectively.